Saturday, April 26, 2008

Coachella: One Down, Two To Go

The Coachella Music Festival got underway in Indio, CA yesterday where acts like Vampire Weekend, Tegan and Sara, The Breeders and The Raconteurs took to the stage to get the 3-day party started. Day Two has just gotten underway ... with acts like Mark Ronson, M.I.A., Portishead and Prince are scheduled to take to the stage thruout the day and night. Here are a few pics from yesterday's performances and a short report from USA Today of just how things went down:

Photo credit: Wireimage

Coachella isn't the oldest or even the biggest music festival in the USA. But it's considered the pioneer of the modern destination music festival — the one that got this whole summer music festival circuit going — because festivals before Coachella, like Lollapalooza, used to go on tours. Friday's launch of the annual three-day fest featured ideal desert weather for the bands coming from all over the world: lows 90s, microscopic humidity and a gentle, 5-mile-per-hour breeze that was like a nurturing fan. Some artists naturally complained about the heat. But Reggie Youngblood, the singer/guitarist of the red-hot Black Kids from Florida, said he was just grateful to see the sun again after three months in the U.K. Black Kids were one of several buzz bands playing Day 1. There was also the preppy New York Afro-pop band, Vampire Weekend, and this year's successor to Amy Winehouse, the highly authentic Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings. The Verve got the plum spot on the main stage after the sun went down and made the most of the great Coachella amplifiers and natural surround-sound created by rocky hills on two sides. The U.K. band, just returning from a 10-year hiatus, stirred the dry desert air, especially with their finale, Sweet Symphony. A mild-mannered Jack Johnson put the chill back into it in the next set, with a comfortable program including a relaxed acoustic version of Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love. The Raconteurs, featuring super-talent Jack White of the White Stripes, used the day to showcase their new album, Consolers of the Lonely. The band did no advance press before the disc's release last month, presenting it to fans and media at the same time. They scorched their way through several new blues-based rockers, revealing their diverse, often angry collection to be one of the finest rock albums of the young year.

You know, there was a time in my life where I wouldn't let an amazing music festival like Coachella pass me by. Back in the day, I would go to pretty much every concert that was made available to me and I loved going to festival concerts because of the sheer number of acts that could be seen in a single day. But, as time went on and I had a number of music fests under my belt, I grew tired of having to deal with the large crowds and the annoying jockeying for position just to hear a 30-minute set. The thought of having to spend the entire day and night in the scorching California desert seems so unappealing to me that I always pass on attending the Coachella Festival. That being said, the line-up this year really had me rethinking my position. I was really interested in the line-up even before it was announced that Prince was headlining Saturday night. If it weren't for a certain wedding that is going on tonight, I think I would've make the trek out to Indio for this year's fest. Ah well ... I guess it wasn't meant to be. I've been getting a few emails from Pink readers who are having a great time at Coachella this year already so I feel like I'm living vicariously thru them. I can't wait to find out how Prince's set goes down tonight ... I'm sure we'll be hearing all about it tomorrow. [Source]